Search engine optimization (SEO) is a constant and increasingly important need for every type of business model. E-commerce sites, brick-and-mortar establishments, and other types of business settings need effective search engine optimization to rank, which can be difficult due to the ever-changing nature of search engine algorithms. To stay on top of your SEO needs, it helps to set up a routine SEO audit for your website and related platforms (listings, social media sites, etc.)
An effective SEO audit needs to evaluate the most fundamental and important SEO features on your websites, determine your volume of high-quality listings, and needs a proactive checklist for upcoming SEO needs. For example, Google has a wide variety of recent mobile-friendly and site-speed updates that will impact your overall rank. But before you start to implement advanced search engine ranking features, it helps to nail down the basics:
Audit your site for SEO basics: page titles, meta descriptions, and content
As Google’s Nick Fox recently explained in QA with SEO experts, keyword variation and content detail are some of the most crucial ranking factors besides new algorithmic changes. Fox stated that many websites many neglect the need to add new content, build varied long-tailed and short-tailed keywords, and adequate technical data. When these key SEO features are neglected, then websites are likely to see a potential dip in rankings vs. a competitor that takes the time to frequently audit and modify their website content. Here is how you can get started:
- Check all your page titles to see if your main location and industry keywords are visible. Page titles are a simple but effective way to optimize your page’s ability to rank.
- Update and review all your pages’ meta descriptions. Meta descriptions also need to have detailed keywords that explain the main location served for your products/services. Meta descriptions should be limited to 160 characters most of the time without relying on keyword spam.
- Review any blog posts, landing pages, and other content pieces to check for any outdated or thin content. The more detailed, useful, and optimized your content is the more likely you will rank higher in organic searches for primary keywords. Also check any image alt text on a page to see if there is missing or incomplete alt text. Alt text is also helpful for adding keywords onto your website.
Local SEO and Off-Page SEO audits are extremely helpful in gaining a competitive ranking boost
Local SEO and off-page SEO are another major need for businesses looking to refine their online marketing strategy. Local SEO needs including Google My Business profiles, localized keyword variation, and social media profiles are helpful to rank on search engines and engage with your nearby customers.
Additionally, off-page SEO citations and directory listings are helpful in creating backlinks that pinpoint users to your website. However, make sure that your backlinks are created from qualified and authoritative sites. Link farming and spamming links can backfire and potentially cause your site to recieve harsh penalties. Conversely, link building and black-hat SEO tactics are crucial to help search engines identify the key details of your business including industry, areas served, and NAP (name, address, phone number) information.
To begin your local and off-page SEO audit, start with these fundamental action items:
- Build your local citations including any and all social media profiles you are planning to post on and Google My Business. GMB is especially important since it is linked directly to local searches and Google Maps results.
- Check local business schema and make sure that it is properly added onto the website. Local schema can highlight your NAP information based on local search terms such as “Near me” or “near [town/location].”
- Perform an audit of your citations and current backlinks that have been added. Use tools including analytics dashboards and third-party auditing software to identify the directories listing your URL. Check and review if these directories are low-authority directories and modify accordingly.
Not sure where to start on your SEO audit? Then contact the Boston Web Marketing SEO professionals for a free website audit! Our team of SEO experts are here to help you coordinate search engine marketing updates, strategy for Google Ads, and other SEO needs.